Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze

My grandma used to make the best cherry bread.

I’d given anything to watch her make it and write down what she did.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

But since that will never happen, I had about 17 emails up and back dialoguing with my mom about how she thought grandma made it.

My mom pieced together some of her own notes and a recipe from a 1948 cookbook that she thinks is what my grandma used. After reading it all over and brainstorming about this bread on multiple 8-mile runs, I made a few tweaks and finally made it. 

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

It’s soft, sweet, and an easy quickbread to make. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, baby or bridal showers, and would be so pretty for a brunch.

I know my grandma didn’t use an electric mixer, and since she would have made it by hand, so did I.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

I have a feeling she used shortening, but I know the word shortening causes immediate clicking off the page by most modern bakers, so I went with a little canola oil instead.

I was tempted to add buttermilk or Greek yogurt to the batter because I do swear by them for keeping things lighter, softer, and moister, but I know my grandma wouldn’t have used them, so they were out.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

I used one 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries. Look for them where ice cream toppings are sold. Before adding the cherries to the batter, give them a rough chop on your cutting board and sprinkle them with a little flour. It helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.

I baked the bread in two 8×4-inch loaf pans. You could probably get away with one 9×5 pan but I find things get a little too browned around the edges before the center fully cooks through in large loaf pans. My mom made the recipe as 4 mini loaves with good luck, and I’m sure muffins would work. If you start tinkering with the pan sizes, you’ll have to start tinkering with the baking times.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

My grandma didn’t glaze her bread, and it didn’t need it. But I couldn’t resist reserving a bit of the cherry juice and making a cherry-almond glaze.

There’s almond extract in the bread and also more in the glaze. It wonderfully complements the cherries and shouldn’t be missed. Look for it next to vanilla extract in the baking aisle. If you love almond extract or are wondering what to do with the rest of the vial, make this cake. It’s unique and a keeper.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

My seven year old inhaled this sweet, soft bread and her slices were flooded with glaze. You can never have too much pink. Or glaze.

My grandma loved pink and it was her favorite color. I have a feeling she would have been thrilled seeing all this pink.

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze - An easy quickbread that's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's Day! Because you can never have too much pink!

Print Print Recipe

Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze

This is a soft, sweet, and easy quickbread to make. It's perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day, baby or bridal showers, and would be so pretty for a brunch. I baked the bread in two 8x4-inch pans, although you can experiment with muffins, mini loaves, or 1 big loaf. The glaze is optional but adds so much extra cherry flavor and I highly recommend it. Both the bread and glaze contain almond extract, which is a perfect complement to cherries. Make sure to read the recipe carefully about dividing the jar of cherries (cherries are chopped and tossed with flour, some juice is added with the wet ingredients, and 1/4 cup juice is reserved for the glaze). The bread is inspired by my grandma's bread and childhood memories.

Yield: two 8x4-inch loaves

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 40 minutes

Total Time: about 75 minutes, for cooling

Ingredients:

Cherry Bread
one 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt, optional and to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
cherry juice, reserve 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cherry-Almond Glaze
1/4 cup reserved cherry juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
about 1 1/2 cups+ confectioners' sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8x4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray or lightly grease and flour the pans; set aside. Recipe may be baked in one 9x5 pan, as 4 mini loaves, or as muffins, although I have not tested it that way. Adjust baking time accordingly.
  2. Cherry Bread - Remove cherries from jar and place on a cutting board. Roughly chop them.
  3. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour (prevents them from sinking during baking) and toss to coat evenly; set cutting board aside. Set jar with the cherry juice aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, optional salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  5. In a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine eggs, oil, all the cherry juice from the jar except 1/4 cup to be reserved for the glaze, almond extract, vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.
  6. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir to combine; don't overmix. Batter will be very thick.
  7. Lightly fold in the chopped cherries.
  8. Turn batter out into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops lightly with a spatula. Strategically place a few cherries on top for visual appeal.
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until bread is domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow bread to cool in pans on top of a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing and allowing to finish cooling completely on rack. While bread cools, make the glaze.
  10. Cherry-Almond Glaze - In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup reserved cherry juice, almond extract, about 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and whisk to combine until smooth and satiny. Add sugar until desired consistency is reached. Glaze the bread prior to serving. After the photos were done, I glazed much more liberally, spreading the glaze like butter on the interior of the slices. Bread will keep airtight at room temp for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Do not glaze bread until ready to serve if you plan on storing long-term.

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127 Responses to “Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze”

  1. Trish - Mom On Timeout — February 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm (#
    51
    )

    What a beautiful bread Averie! I’m sure your Grandma would be proud! I’m a sucker for anything with maraschino cherries so I’m all in on this one :)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks Trish!

    [Reply]

  2. Kate@Diethood — February 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm (#
    52
    )

    Grandmas recipes are truly the best! Glad you were able to piece it all together and create this gorgeous loaf! It is BEAUTIFUL!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thank you, Kate! I appreciate it :)

    [Reply]

  3. Paula – bell’alimento — February 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm (#
    53
    )

    Oh my, this bread looks so very beautiful! I look forward to trying this soon!

    [Reply]

  4. Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — February 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm (#
    54
    )

    Girl, this bread is making my sweet tooth scream! It looks delicious!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thank you Sommer!

    [Reply]

  5. laurasmess — February 15, 2014 at 12:59 am (#
    55
    )

    These are stunning Averie!! Love that soft pink, it’s the perfect recipe for a girl’s night or fundraiser. The combination of cherry and almond sounds amazing. Thanks for the recipe xxx

    [Reply]

  6. Julie Kono — February 15, 2014 at 11:58 am (#
    56
    )

    This bread is delicious! I made it Thursday when the charter went out in all of northern Cali , so I couldn’t work and ever since I saw this post I knew I had to make this bread. It really is very good! My husband loved it too. Again, it was a super easy recipe with fantastic results. I kept thinking, ” I wonder if Averie’s grandma’s bread tasted like this”. If so, she was a super wonderful baker! Just like you Averie! Thank you for such a unique recipe that is both easy and delicious!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for the awesome compliments, Julie. My grandma would be proud. My grandma’s was about 95% like this. Hers was better though :) Glad you loved it!

    [Reply]

  7. Patty — February 16, 2014 at 7:20 am (#
    57
    )

    Looking forward to making this sweet bread. If I use shortening, is it the same amount as the oil? In my opinion there is nothing better than when the flavors of cherry and almond come together. They compliment each other so well! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story along with the recipe.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Since I haven’t actually tried it with shortening, I cannot say for sure but yes I would go with 1/2 c and then cream it with the egg and sugar. LMK how it goes!!

    [Reply]

  8. Valerie — February 17, 2014 at 6:15 pm (#
    58
    )

    Cherries & almond, what’s not to love? The soft pink makes it all the more irresistible!! Even as an adult, I cannot resist pink pastries.

    [Reply]

  9. Nutmeg Nanny — February 18, 2014 at 9:03 am (#
    59
    )

    This is so beautiful :) I love the colors! It looks so tasty and moist!

    [Reply]

  10. Sumbul — February 22, 2014 at 11:05 am (#
    60
    )

    LOVED this, though I had black cherries lying at home so attempted an almost blasphemous twist. Came out absolutely delish!
    Thank you so much. LOVE reading your blog
    As requested, I’ve shared your link in my post about my twisted venture :)
    Keep cooking :)

    http://thegooglecook.blogspot.com/2014/02/cheery-cherries-and-chunky-jars.html

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for trying it and so glad you enjoyed it! Black cherries would be great in it! Thanks for linking up in your post, too :)

    [Reply]

    Sumbul Reply:

    I’m glad you didn’t mind me changing your grandma’s recipe. In this part of the world I might have lost a friend for such sacrilege!
    Thank you so much for sharing :)

    [Reply]

  11. Eva — March 2, 2014 at 10:49 pm (#
    61
    )

    Have a veganized version of this in the oven right now. Really hope it will work out :)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Lmk how it turns out!

    [Reply]

  12. Crystal | Apples & Sparkle — March 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm (#
    62
    )

    Oh, my goodness, I love the sound of this. I have such a weakness for marachino cherries. They just make me feel like a little girl inside. I loved reading your post about your Grandma, so sweet. When my Grandma passed away, I inherited her recipe box and it is such a treasure. I am pinning your recipe and it’s gonna be on my short list of things to make very soon! Thanks for sharing, definitely my favorite recipe of the day!! : )

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for pinning & putting on your short list of things to make & for sharing your story about your Grandma too :)

    [Reply]

  13. Megan — March 19, 2014 at 8:12 am (#
    63
    )

    This looks delish! Could I omit the almond extract or replace it with vanilla extract? Which would you do? Thanks in advance!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Personally I love almond extract so so much (vanilla too) but the almond extract is really special in this recipe. Use it if you can!

    [Reply]

    megan Reply:

    ok thanks, I don’t like almond extract so I was hoping to either omit it or replace it. I think I’ll replace it with vanilla. Excited to try it!

    [Reply]

  14. Karol Witherow — March 28, 2014 at 5:27 pm (#
    64
    )

    Thank you are the cherry bread recipe, it sounds great, will be making this weekend…I have been looking for a good Cherry Bread and I’m sure I just found it. Would you possible have a good Orange Bread recipe? Thanks again

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I’ve actually wanted to do an orange bread. I’ve got lemon (cupcakes), cherry, and I’ll put orange bread in my one-day make this pile :) Enjoy the cherry bread!

    [Reply]

  15. Taylor — April 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm (#
    65
    )

    Is it normal for there to not be much batter per loaf pan? It wasn’t as full as it normally would look batter-wise when I make bread. And it didn’t rise much…and fell after taking it out of the oven :( It tasted pretty good, though. We had ice cream with it.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Depends what size pan you used. I prefer to bake 2 loaves in a 8×4 than 1 big 9×5 loaf, and yes, there isn’t tons of batter per pan in my pans, but sizes to vary slightly. It rose about what you’d expect a quickbread to rise. I’m thinking if yours didn’t rise well and then fell, you may have underbaked it a bit (internal temp not quite hot enough for full rising) or your baking powder could be not as fresh as possible. Glad you enjoyed the flavor of the bread!

    [Reply]

  16. Julie — May 7, 2014 at 4:18 am (#
    66
    )

    I love the idea of adding almond and vanilla extract to the batter. I’ll have to try that in mine next time! Your photography is gorgeous, as always!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for the compliments, Julie, and for stopping by to check out the bread. The almond (and vanilla) extract are so good with the cherries!

    [Reply]

  17. Olga — May 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm (#
    67
    )

    Can replace vegetable oil with coconut oil? :)
    I will definitely try this recipe out, thank you for sharing it with us :)

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I haven’t tried it that way but it would probably work (and taste) great!

    [Reply]

  18. Samantha — June 24, 2014 at 9:12 pm (#
    68
    )

    I was so excited to make this, but I messed it up terribly and don’t know how. My bread was dark brown all the way through. I checked it, and when I finally pulled it out, the batter still wasn’t done in the center. I used the size of pans you recommended (I don’t own bread pans, so I just bought the foil ones from Walmart). The bread also didn’t rise at all. In fact, it dips down in the center of each. I went back and made sure I had the oven set right, and used the right ingredients. I have no idea what I did :(

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I don’t own bread pans, so I just bought the foil ones from Walmart = you use a cheapie foil pan that will basically cause anything in it to scorch and burn horribly around the sides and edges. Invest in a bread pan, even a $8-10 one from Walmart would be fine! That is the source of every single issue – from the burnt sides, center not cooking through, and while you’re at it pick up new baking soda and baking powder which may have contributed to the fallen center but I believe that is also due to a wobbly, cheap pan that is bouncing and shimmy’ing around so the batter never really can ‘grip’ the sides of the pan to rise properly.

    [Reply]

  19. Judith Ummel — September 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm (#
    69
    )

    I have gallons of donated maraschino cherries that were donated to our food pantry. So to make this bread I need to know how much cherry juice is in a 10 oz bottle…..after the 1/4 cup for the glaze is removed. Thanks…if the sample turns out I will be making dozens of loaves!!!!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Just guessing here but if in a 10 oz jar, half is juice/half is cherries, that’s about 5 oz of juice. Remove 1/4 c for glaze, so we’re at a bit under 4 oz which is a bit under 1/2 c juice. So I’d go with between 1/3 and 1/2 cup, you’ll have to use your judgment.

    [Reply]

  20. Deirdre — October 25, 2014 at 3:55 am (#
    70
    )

    Fantastic looking recipie. I love Cherries and almond. Christmas treat coming up. God Bless you Grand-ma. Thank you

    [Reply]

  21. Amy — November 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm (#
    71
    )

    This bread turned out so wonderfully delicious! Thank you for sharing :) I just cut some slices for our dessert and am trying to resist going back for more! Mine was actually done around the 30 minute mark. I’m not sure if it was my oven but thought I’d share for others to check on their bread early :) next time, I think I will add some walnuts or pecans.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Oh I am so glad to hear it came out great for you and you’re happy! My grandma would be so happy to hear that :) And good tip about checking early!

    [Reply]

  22. Meagan — February 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm (#
    72
    )

    Made this in advance of Valentine’s Day. Surprisingly I did not have the recommend loaf pan size, but it still turned out beautiful and delicious. Every bit was gone before I could get around to making the glaze. It will be a part of pink occasions to come. Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you even without the rec. loaf pan and that it was gone before even getting to the glaze..that’s great to hear!

    [Reply]

  23. Jordan Brandt — March 20, 2015 at 9:22 am (#
    73
    )

    What a great story about your grandma, and I can’t wait to make this with mine!

    [Reply]

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